A specialist Gosset ward nurse, who came back to her roots looking after Northampton General Hospital’s most vulnerable babies, has retired after 35 years.
Diane Rogers, one of only two advanced neo-natal nurse practitioners at NGH, has cared for her final baby on the ward.
Combining the skills of a qualified children’s nurse with those of a midwife, as well as advanced neo-natal training, she has been one of the most highly-trained members of staff in the department.
But after 35 years at NGH and countless successful patients, Diane, now aged 60, has called time on her career.
She said: “It’s not a physically-demanding job but we work so hard emotionally.
“I’ve had my share of sad outcomes over the years.
“You need compassion and empathy and a good team around you and I’m fortunate to have had all of those things.”
Diane joined Paddington ward before taking up midwifery, then came full circle in 1983 becoming a neo-natal nurse.
She said: “It’s where I’m happiest. It took me a while to realise that, but I strongly felt I wanted to come back to it.
“I’ll always think of neo-natal nursing as my first love.”
Returning parents were among Diane’s chief pleasures.
She said: “We build up such a rapport with the parents and the equipment we use is so expensive, so when they decide to raise money to help the ward it’s lovely.
“We can only eat so much chocolate cake, although one mum brings Christmas cake every single year so we don’t mind that.
“When the children come back just to say ‘I’m still around, thanks so much’, it’s really fantastic.”